Black man in red jacket with red doo rag scarf on head with gold necklace, making a sneering face

Prodigy of Mobb Deep died June 20th from sickle cell. The QBoro rapper’s value to Hip Hop can be illustrated by oversimplifying statements like: Prodigy is more influential than Rakim because he helped Rakim become 90’s New York Hip Hop form. 

Nas, OC, Wu and others also helped Prodigy make Rakim resonate in the 90’s New York akin to 2pac popularizing Scarface’s rapping style everywhere.

Prodigy, Like Rakim, utilized his speaking voice in a cool, calm manner with controlled patterns creating the embodiment of the New York contrast between Hip Hop’s clean and dapper presentation and the grittiness of a gothic industrialization. Rakim’s 1992 song “Causalities of War” depicted a Desert Storm veteran who loses his mind because of PTSD that humanized the channel change from BET and CNN when people got bored of watching play by play of scud missiles.

The PTSD in Queensbridge from neighborhood violence during Mobb Deep’s rise had everyone speaking in the “dun” language while the East Coast adopted gulf-war names like CNN, Desert Storm and labeled neighborhoods Kuwait.

Prodigy devolved Rakim’s NGE’s transcendence to righteousness to the amoral Malachi York beyond good to evil, post-modern militiaman absurdist. Look at Doggpound’s “NY. NY.” Vs. CNN’s feat Mobb Deep & Tragedy Quadafi’s “L.A.L.A.”

DPG kicked battle raps, while “L.A.L.A.’ is a thug anthem.

During 8 Mile, Eminem wins the emcee battle over the “Shook Ones” beat.

Jay-Z once put a picture of Prodigy on a stadium screen wearing a ballerina’s outfit. Jay-Z obviously won that beef.

However, Prodigy’s loss in the thug realm didn't ruin his career because of his DNA in the aesthetic values of his genre is a glaring tribute to his music. Prodigy never stopped putting on the face of rugged individualism. Keith Murray beat up Prodigy. Mobb Deep responded by calling Keith Murray “a fucking immigrant.” Keith Murray’s profile diminished after going to jail for assault in 2000.

“Shook Ones” is “Rapper’s Delight” in terms of Hip Hop 101. I don’t know why Keith Murray and Prodigy beefed. Prodigy had worked with Keith Murray for the L.L. Cool J/Fat Joe/Foxy Brown song “I Shot Ya.”

Tupac confronted Keith Murray wondering if “I Shot Ya” was capitalizing off Pac’s non-fatal 1994 shooting. Tupac and Keith Murray came to the conclusion they weren’t in conflict.

Prodigy and Keith Murray’s ensuing conflict pales in comparison to the horse that road in from another lyric from “I Shot Ya.”

Prodigy uttered the perhaps most influential phrase of the 90’s: “Illuminati want my mind soul and body/Secret Society/trying to keep his eye on me.” From this lyric until 9-11, the illuminati talk dominated political rap conversation. Pac never squashed his hard feeling towards Mobb Deep.

Pac and Mobb Deep never clarified intent so eventually they went to war. Mobb Deep’s most famous beef was Pac who insulted Prodigy in 1996 by yelling, ”Fuck Mobb Deep. Don’t one of you have Sickle Cell or something.”

This might sound weird but: Pretend Hillary Clinton’s Health Security Act of 1993 is approved. The government would have extended a tangible care for human beings. Much has been discussed about Bill Clinton’s continuation of the G.O.P.’s prison industry growth in the 90’s. (Bill Clinton has spoken from this experience about the prison industry is ineffective.)

If the Health Security Act passes, perhaps the government would not have been so regarded as an oppressive entity. I read Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown’s 1999 book Congress From the Inside last week. Sherrod included a quote that possessed validity: “If criminals have the right to a lawyer. I think working American’s have the right to a doctor.” – Senator Harris Wofford.

I’m not advocating the end of the right to an attorney. I’m pointing out a philosophical flaw that exists. Not only does the lack of health care pose the immediate life impact. The lack of health care also creates an overall culture that doesn’t value the well-being of human beings.

Obviously this is inserted because the Republican healthcare plan doesn’t amaze me. In 2017, Kendrick Lamar is lobbying for the ACA in the midst of a hit rap song. Obama’s hope has sprinkled itself within the street narratives.

After 2pac was killed in September 1996, Mobb Deep’s response song “Drop A Gem on Em” was already receiving a huge response from the streets of New York. 2pac was murdered. Mobb Deep’s diss record resonances diminishes causing Mobb, “2pac didn’t even know how to die right. We were gonna make so much money off that song.”

That was 90’s rap. Everyone was like, fuck everything. My hunch is teaching people no one cares probably helped both 2pac and Prodigy move toward a calculated step to embrace an early death.

As influential as Pac and Prodigy are, let’s analyze the toll; implicit nihilism has affected people that aren’t gifted artists.


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